Monday, April 27, 2009

Republicans stripped pandemic preparedness funds from the stimulus bill

What comes around goes around...
When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year's emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.

Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse -- with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.

But former White House political czar Karl Rove and key congressional Republicans -- led by Maine Senator Susan Collins -- aggressively attacked the notion that there was a connection between pandemic preparation and economic recovery.

Now, as the World Health Organization says a deadly swine flu outbreak that apparently began in Mexico but has spread to the United States has the potential to develop into a pandemic, Obey's attempt to secure the money seems eerily prescient.

And his partisan attacks on his efforts seem not just creepy, but dangerous.
This goes back to the Republican cult-like belief in "small government". Their argument has long been that government has no role to play in public health issues. Thus, they ridiculed the idea that the government should spend any money preparing for a pandemic.

Let us remember that this belief extends to disaster relief, which was why we saw the abysmal federal response to Katrina in 2005. That's why "Brownie" didn't think anything of it when he wasted 24 hours trying to find a dog sitter while a major American city was drowning. He wasn't supposed to have a role to play anyway. The Red Cross and private charities were supposed to handle that stuff. In the minds of most Republicans the federal government was only there to shoot looters.

This is just a reminder of why Republicans suck so badly at governing. They don't believe in government. A Republican in government is like an atheist being a priest.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lawrence O'Donnell sets a wingnut straight

This is an excellent smackdown of a neocon who was actually trying to defend torture.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Freed Pirate Hostage Accuses Limbaugh of "Hate Speech"

This is pretty interesting.
The right wing is predictably having kittens.
They don't take criticism of their leader very well.

Shane Murphy, the second-in-command aboard the American merchant ship seized by pirates, lashed out at Rush Limbaugh for the talk show host's racial characterization in discussing the rescue of the ship's captain by the Navy.

Murphy, who returned to his Seekonk, Mass., home Friday, called Limbaugh a purveyor of "hate speech."

In commenting on the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips by the Navy Seals who shot and killed the three Somali pirates who were holding him captive, Limbaugh generated controversy when he called the pirates "black teenagers."

"There you have it, three teenagers shot on the high seas at the order of President Obama," said Limbaugh according to a transcript of an April 14 broadcast on his Web site.

"Just imagine the hue and cry had a Republican president ordered the shooting of black teenagers on the high seas," Limbaugh said.Murphy said Limbaugh's remarks were unacceptable.

"It feels great to be home," Murphy said. "With the exception of Rush Limbaugh who is trying to make this into a race issue.

It's disgusting.""The president did the right thing. It's a war. It's about good versus evil. And what you (Limbaugh) said is evil, that is hate speech. I won't tolerate it," Murphy said.

Quote of the Week

I saw this on another site and had to share it. The far right in America desperately wants to sweep the issue of torture under the rug because they are afraid of being held responsible for their actions. They really screwed themselves when they decided to become cheerleaders for torture.

"The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention . It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today....

...The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called 'universal jurisdiction.' Each State Party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution.

...By giving its advice and consent to ratification of this Convention, the Senate of the United States will demonstrate unequivocally our desire to bring an end to the abhorrent practice of torture."

Ronald Reagan in a signing statement ratifying the UN Convention on Torture, 1984

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Nothing better than a dead liberal"

I made this video the other day while walking around the tea bagging event in St Clair Shores. I only had a couple of minutes but you couldn't walk five steps without running into some kind of wacko.

The first woman was holding a sign that read "Honk if you support the constitution". I asked her exactly what she thought was threatening the constitution now and then I asked her if she had been out protesting for the constitution over the last 8 years. The second person was holding a sign that read "brew the liberals" so I stopped and asked exactly what that meant.

Tea Bagging Hypocrisy

This picture is worth 1000 words.